Transportation Modernization Act - Transat calls for stricter provisions regarding airline joint ventures, so as to maintain healthy competition

MONTREAL, Sept. 14, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - Testifying at today's sitting of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities examining Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act, Transat A.T. Inc., a leading integrated international tourism and air transportation company, called for stricter provisions relative to the approval of international airline joint ventures so as to maintain healthy competition on the Canadian market.

Given that creation of an airline joint venture aims at consolidating and co-ordinating the critical business functions (e.g., route planning, capacity, fares) of two air carriers within a single entity, this type of arrangement should be considered a de facto merger and, as such, subjected to existing legislation, under which it is already possible to determine whether agreements of this nature are in the public interest.

Transat reminded the Committee that in the past, the Commissioner of Competition has expressed major concerns about the risk of anti-competitive behaviour resulting from airline joint ventures, especially where the partners control a significant share of the market.

Consequently, Transat proposed that planned international joint ventures be subjected to a review and authorization framework using largely the same provisions regarding mergers as the Canada Transportation Act, which were developed jointly by the Commissioner of Competition and the Minister of Transport.

Transat also reiterated its support for the proposed airline passenger bill of rights, which would aim to ensure improved customer experience through a fair and balanced regulatory framework. The company also agrees with the proposal in the draft legislation to increase the limit on foreign ownership of Canadian-licenced airlines to 49%.

About Transat

Transat A.T. Inc. is a leading integrated international tourism company specializing in holiday travel and active in air transportation, accommodation, travel packaging and distribution. It operates mainly in Canada, Europe, Mexico and the Caribbean, with some 25 destination countries, and distributes products in over 50 countries. Based in Montreal, the company has 5,000 employees. Transat is firmly committed to sustainable tourism development, as reflected in its multiple corporate responsibility initiatives over the past 10 years, and was awarded Travelife Partner status in 2016. The vacation travel companion par excellence, Transat celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2017 (TSX: TRZ).

Recent distinctions and awards

Named world's second-best leisure airline at the Skytrax World Airline Awards (2013–2017) and best in North America in the same category (2012–2017)

Placed second among airlines on Forbes magazine's 2017 ranking of Canada's Best Employers

Named one of the Best Corporate Citizens in Canada by the research firm Corporate Knights (2014–2017; 16th in 2017)

Named the number one carrier in North America for energy efficiency by Atmosfair (2011–2016)

Ranked among the Top 10 call centres in North America by BenchmarkPortal (2012 and 2015)

Voted Best Leisure/Charter Airline (2008–2017) and Best Tour Operator (2014–2017), at the Agent's Choice Awards presented by Baxter Travel Media

Voted Best Airline (2013–2015) and Best Tour Operator (2013, 2015 and 2016), at the Trophées Uni-Vers awards organized by the Association des Agents de Voyages du Québec


SOURCE Transat A.T. Inc.

Transat A.T. Inc., Christophe Hennebelle, Vice-President, Human Resources and Corporate Affairs,, 514 987-1660, ext. 4584

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